Saturday, April 21, 2012

We've moved past invasive patdowns. Woo?

The Guardian: TSA's mission creep is making the US a police state
Anyone who rode the bus in Houston, Texas during the 2-10pm shift last Friday faced random bag checks and sweeps by both drug-sniffing dogs and bomb-sniffing dogs (the latter being only canines necessary if "preventing terrorism" were the actual intent of these raids), all courtesy of a joint effort between TSA VIPR nests and three different local and county-level police departments. The new Napolitano doctrine, then: "Show us your papers, show us everything you've got, justify yourself or you're not allowed to go about your everyday business."
Earlier this month, the VIPRs came out again in Virginia and infested the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, also known as the stretch of Interstate 64 connecting the cities of Hampton and Norfolk. Spokesmen admitted again that the exercise was a "routine sweep", not a response to any specific threat. Official news outlets admitted the checkpoint caused a delay (further exacerbated by a couple of accidents), but didn't say for how long. Local commenters at the Travel Underground forums reported delays of 90 minutes.
What is the old (and now overused and abused) Ben Franklin quote? "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Except the TSA's security theater hasn't provided up with any additional safety. We're giving up our liberties for nothing. Think about it-- the "shoe bomber" and the "underwear bomber" were thwarted by civilians, not the TSA. All the TSA could do was react well after the fact.

Hell, if anything, the TSA's insane rules have made travel more dangerous by bottle-necking travelers at specific points, giving us all a big ol' bull's eye pretty much any time we want to leave our home.

And now, we can't escape the TSA, no matter where or how we travel. Welcome, ladies and gents, to the 21st century police state. We were warned and we ignored those warnings at our peril.

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